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Fields of Study: Humanities, Social Sciences, Science, Engineering

Take courses in a wide range of disciplines at the top-ranked University of Hong Kong (HKU). With the exception of courses in Chinese language and literature, HKU courses are taught in English in the arts, humanities, business, engineering, sciences, and social sciences.

Unique study opportunities

  • Explore consumer behavior in Asia, business law, leadership, or how to become an entrepreneur.
  • Learn how to design a mobile app or get an introduction to artificial intelligence (AI).
  • Analyze liberalism, China’s role in international politics, and globalization.


Language of Instruction: English

Chinese Language Study: Optional

Although most courses are taught in English, Cantonese is the primary language of Hong Kong. You will encounter Cantonese in dormitories, on the street, and in tutorials, labs, and studios. Some basic Cantonese will help you interact both in classes and in everyday activities.

If you do not speak any Cantonese, student alumni recommend the Cantonese as a Foreign Language class (CHIN9511) offered through the Chinese Language Center.

Courses and credit

Requirements While Abroad

To successfully complete this program:

  • Take a full-time course of study: Four to six courses with a total of 20-30 quarter/13.3-20 semester UC units. We recommend five courses per semester (25 quarter/16.7 semester UC units).
  • If you take 4 courses, you make take one course for pass/no pass credit. If you take 5 or 6 courses, you may take two courses pass/no pass.
  • The majority of your courses (minimum 50%) must be taken in the faculty to which you are admitted (usually two or three courses). 

Current Program Courses

Courses are available in a full range of disciplines from the following HKU departments and schools:

  • Faculty of Architecture: Architecture; Real Estate and Construction; Urban Planning and Design; Landscape Architecture; and Conservation.
  • Faculty of Business and Economics: Accounting; Business Administration; Economics; Finance; Information Systems; Management; Marketing
  • Faculty of Education: Teacher Education; Education Policy; and Human Communication, Development, and Information Sciences
  • Faculty of Engineering: Civil Engineering; Computer Science; Electrical and Electronic Engineering; Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; and Medical Engineering Program (Biomedical Engineering).
  • School of Humanities: Comparative Literature; Fine Arts; History; Linguistics; Music; and Philosophy
  • Faculty of Science: Chemistry; Earth Science; Mathematics; Physics; Statistics & Actuarial Science; and school of Biological Sciences.
  • Faculty of Social Sciences: Geography; Politics and Public Administration; Psychology; Social Work and Social Administration; Sociology; Journalism and Media Studies
  • School of Chinese: Chinese language courses for international undergraduate students.

Most business, economics, engineering, and science courses have prerequisites and require prior experience in the field. If you are advanced in one of these majors, you are more likely to qualify for the courses. Humanities and other social science courses have less rigorous prerequisites.

HKU courses are numbered by year:
•    1000 first-year courses are usually lower division for UC
•    2000 may be lower or upper division depending on the content
•    3000 and 4000 are upper division and generally have strict prerequisites
Common Core (CC) courses have a 9000 number and are broad interdisciplinary courses that are usually lower division. You may register for these courses during the add/drop period only. 

Course Restrictions
Course availability is limited in many departments. Certain courses or departments have restrictions for exchange (UCEAP) students. See restrictions on the HKU website prior to completing your HKU application.

You will do course registration in early August for fall and early January for spring and final registration during the add/drop period after arrival.

Catalogs and resources

Academic culture

UCEAP alumni have noted that everything from course registration to final exams is different at the University of Hong Kong. To help you adapt to these changes, HKU has created Adjustment Tips for Non-local Students.

Throughout the program you’ll be learning alongside local students. Students who succeed are also able to study independently, do the background reading, and incorporate class work in written papers. Local teaching style emphasizes memorization, so be prepared to repeat lecture material on written quizzes and exams. It is important to attend class regularly, take all course exams, and submit written work as required by each instructor.

Some courses involve fieldwork, practical experience, or lab work. Group projects are common.

Tip: Lecturers may have heavy accents. Before you finalize enrollment, make sure you can understand the main lecturer in each course.


You will earn direct UC credit and grades for all coursework. Grading at Hong Kong institutions reflects rigorous academic standards. Grading curves are rare. Instructors asses academic progress based on fieldwork, lab assignments, individual and group projects, quizzes, exams, and any other criteria relevant to the course. They may also consider class attendance and participation. Class participation may be especially important in seminars and in courses that have tutorial sessions. Most exams are in short answer or essay format.

Language course grades are usually based on periodic quizzes and tests, homework assignments, class performance, and a final oral and written exam. These courses are small and require attendance in every class unless you receive permission to be absent. Absences affect both language progress and the final grade for the course.

The University of Hong Kong emails students unofficial grades about one month before grades go out.

Fall grades are usually available in mid-March.

Spring grades are usually available from late July through early September.

Students in the year program will receive fall grades with spring grades.